Certificate in working with Couples and Other Relationships

Would you like to start working with couples/relationships?

Would you like to add this to your scope of practice and revenue?

This course helps qualified therapists start working with couples/relationships by providing a solid grounding in theory and skills.

This 8-day certificate course is designed for counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists who have qualified in working with individuals and who would now like to take an additional training in order to become more skilled in working therapeutically with couples and other forms of relationship – such as open or polyamorous relationships. Additionally, we invite participants to widen the applicability of this learning into other forms of relationship which will be referred to during the training, such as business partners or family relationships. That said, the course does cover intimate relationships including dimensions of sex and physical intimacy.

The course is designed for therapists to begin this training without any prior experience of working with couples. However, those practitioners who already work with couples or relationship issues may find this a useful refresher course or to add further dimensions and approaches to this work.

This training is offered as a CPD programme (Continuous Professional Development). It is not a certified qualification as such; rather, it is designed to give participants a CPD certificate as evidence of having taken additional specialised training in relational therapy for couples and other types of relationship – to equip therapists with relevant knowledge and models when undertaking couple/relationship therapy. 

The starting point of the course requires that participants have competence in core therapeutic and relational skills. Of its very nature, the material will bring an opportunity for participants to reflect on their own relational style and attitudes towards intimate relationships.

All students must be qualified as a counsellor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or in a related professional field. This assumes an understanding of the basic tenets of establishing safety and containment in therapy in order to provide a secure base for working with couples and other forms of relationship where there can be testing dynamics to be navigated with ethical competence by the therapist.

Although the qualification lacks an Ofqual-regulated status, we would say that it is taught at the equivalent of Level 6: as a post-qualification training with the requirement to evaluate theoretical concepts and implementation in practice with a significant level of reflective self-assessment.

Please see the feedback from previous students on this course, in the testimonials at the bottom of this page.

The Grove Practice is accredited by NCP (National Council for Psychotherapists) as a CPD training centre. As such, all The Grove’s courses are awarded NCP accreditation for CPD (Continuous Professional Development). This accreditation provides reassurance regarding high standards of teaching and course content.


This course is approved by COSRT (the College of Sex and Relationship Therapists) for 48 hours of CPD (Continuous Professional Development). This CPD approval by COSRT gives quality assurance of relevance of the material to the practice of sex and relationship therapy.

The Grove’s courses have been successfully recognised as CPD for members of the following membership bodies: BACP, UKCP, COSRT, NCP, NCS, AHPP, BPS, among others. Organisations such as Relate and MIND and Place2B have also supported their therapists in taking training with The Grove. This is a mark of unofficial validation of our courses as worthy of being listed on the CPD logs for these members.

Apply online for this course

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Key Information

Certificate in working with Couples and Other Relationships

Cabby Laffy has over 25-years’ experience as training facilitator and psychotherapist with individuals and couples and is author of LoveSex: An Integrative Model for Sexual Education (Karnac 2013).  Cabby is joined by Polly McAfee as co-facilitator for the Autumn 2021 intake; for subsequent intakes, Shana Laffy is co-facilitator on this course. 

£1,300 + VAT = £1,560 payable in full  or by instalments.  A non-refundable deposit of £300 is payable to secure a place on this course. After that, the total remaining payable must be reached by 6 weeks before the final weekend of the training.

The course fee includes all training materials and the CPD certificate. 


This intake will take place on Zoom.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2021:

19 & 20 March
23 & 24 April
21 & 22 May
18 & 19 June

Times each day: 10am – 4:30pm.

Enquire now by emailing         [email protected] 

Previous intakes have been oversubscribed. So you are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.


This course will be held on Zoom.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2021:
10 & 11 September
8 & 9 October
5 & 6 November
10 & 11 December

Times each day: 10am – 4:30pm.

Enquire now by emailing         [email protected] 

Previous intakes have been oversubscribed. So you are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.


This course will be held on Zoom.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2022:
25 & 26 March
22 & 23 April
20 & 21 May
24 & 25 June

Times each day: 10am – 4:30pm.

Enquire now by emailing         [email protected] 

Previous intakes have been oversubscribed. So you are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later


This course will be held on Zoom.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2022:
9 & 10 September
7 & 8 October
11 & 12 November
9 & 10 December

Times each day: 10am – 4:30pm.

Enquire now by emailing         [email protected] 

Previous intakes have been oversubscribed. So you are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.ntended venue when training can resume in person:
De Vere West One, 9-10 Portland Place, London, W1B 1PR.

Further Information

This 8-day certificate course, facilitated by Cabby Laffy, is designed for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists who would like to become more skilled in working therapeutically with couples and other relationships. Through teaching and experiential work, including role-plays and skills practice you will gain some insights and tools to work with the dynamics of relationships, as well as common issues arising in couple therapy – such as desire, conflict, potential separation, lack of relationship vision, communication blocks, endings.

The course will include an introduction to working with sexually diverse couples, common presenting problems, such as differing sexual desire and managing conflict in relationships, a consideration of the therapeutic meaning of clients’ presenting issues, what may be achievable and a presentation of different models of working with relationships. The programme covers an introduction to psychosexual issues, with a greater emphasis on relational work.

The programme will include:

  • Presentations of multiple theories on couple relationships, and material by trainer Cabby Laffy
  • Considerations and process for intake, history-taking and assessment, therapeutic process with couples and other relationships
  • Practical skills for couple work: using triads, introducing communication skills, conflict resolution, working with different and culture
  • Discussion in the full group of the material being presented, including opportunities to ask questions and check understanding.
  • Experiential exercises to embed understanding of the material.

Work in small groups (dyads, triads) as skills practice using the taught material.

Theory ✓        Experiential components ✓         Skills Practice ✓

Through teaching and experiential work, including role-plays and skills practice you will gain some insights and tools to work with the dynamics of a couple client, as well as common issues arising in couple therapy.

The “Certificate in Working with Couples and Other Relationships” is awarded by The Grove Practice as evidence of 48 hours of CPD in this field, giving confidence to the therapist about an ethical stance for their scope of practice – with evidence of having undertaken relevant training.

To give reassurance to the clients, the therapist can describe themselves as having taken relevant specialised training in couple/relationship therapy.

As with any topic, there’s always more depth and breadth to study. This CPD course is a foundation.

1. Introduction to working with relationships: Expectations, for therapists and for couples. Awareness of counter transference

2. Beginnings: Assessments. Contracts. History taking.

3. The Dynamics of working in Triads: Triads, Drama Triangle. Psychosocial development.

4. Philosophies and beliefs: Theories about working with relationships. Stages in relationship and life issues.

5. Working with Difference: Sexual diversity. Shame. Transference.

6. Desire, differentiation and conflict: Sexual desire and its connection with differentiation. Managing conflict in the therapy room.

7. Communication: Teaching and modelling Communication skills. Winner’s Triangle and Assertiveness.

8. Endings: Importance of Endings. Review of what you have learnt.

This course has a biopsychosocial underpinning – whereby the body’s physiology and the client’s psychological process are considered within the sociological context.

This course has a sex-positive philosophy, in which sex has a valid place within therapeutic work.

Learning is absorbed by attendance and participation on the course. There is no assessment other than attendance and participation. Although a reading list is provided, there is no formal requirement for further reading – although additional reading is recommended to enhance your professional development subsequent to the course.

We also recommend that anyone undertaking couple therapy seeks supervision from a suitable qualified professional, to support this important area of work.


Cabby Laffy has been a facilitator of training and workshops since 1991. She has also worked as a psychotherapist with individuals and couples, and a supervisor for individual and couple work, for over twenty-five years. She is a UKCP registered and NCP accredited psychotherapist, a COSRT accredited psychosexual therapist and supervisor, an educator and group facilitator, and a member of PCSR and PCU. Cabby’s book LoveSex: An Integrative Model for Sexual Education (Karnac 2013) presents a model for psychosexual health. Cabby is available for one to one and couple therapy, training, and supervisionwww.psychosexualhealth.org.uk

Cabby has created a Homeodynamic Model for Psychosexual Health, which offers an integrative understanding of human relationships and sexuality encompassing the physical, emotional, spiritual, and our social and cultural environment. This approach includes research from neuroscience, complementary and alternative health therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy, and draws from eastern sexual healing practices as well western approaches to psychosexual therapy. The Homeodynamic Model is taught at Cabby’s Centre for Psychosexual Health (CPH) – www.psychosexualhealth.org.uk – primarily through a two year Diploma in Integrative Psychosexual Therapy.  She is an experienced practitioner in her client work and training roles, with a speciality in psychosexual therapy.

Cabby and her daughter, Shana Laffy, have established Heartful Therapy to provide training courses and therapy with the aim of providing high quality and experiential training in relationship and couple therapy and using the arts as a therapeutic tool. Heartful Therapy Training offers a variety of courses, some 1-day CPD events, as well as this certificate course run in association with The Grove. www.heartfultherapy.co.uk

SHANA LAFFYShana Laffy is a qualified integrative creative arts therapist who trained with The Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education. Shana works with children and young people as well as individual clients and couples. She specialises in using the creative arts and neuroscience informed practice, with a particular interest in working with attachment and developmental trauma. Alongside her therapeutic work, Shana runs an educational consultancy and training business supporting those in Education, Social Care, as well as families and parents. Shana is a safeguarding expert and an accredited Emotion Coaching Practitioner Trainer. Please see her website
www.engage-earlyyears.co.uk for more information. 


Polly McAfeePolly McAfee is is a graduate of the Diploma in Integrative Psychosexual Therapy taught by Cabby Laffy through CPH. Polly holds an M.A in Effective Learning. She has also trained with the Institute of Group Analysis, Pink Therapy, the Gestalt Centre, Barbara Carellas, Nick Totton and Spectrum Therapy. As well as teaching for CPH, she runs groups for women exploring sex and sexuality. These incorporate the breath and energy techniques of sacred sexuality as well as the educational, behavioural and therapeutic aspects of psychosexual work. Polly is passionate about people experiencing sexuality as an integral and joyful part of themselves, and about the potential of group work to assist with this journey.

The intake for Spring 2021 will be taught by Cabby Laffy and Shana Laffy.

The intake for Autumn 2021 will be taught by Cabby Laffy and Polly McAfee.

Read our terms and conditions for courses, including our complaints procedure.

Who is this course is designed for

This CPD training is designed for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who are experienced in working with individual clients, but who wish to become confident in working with couples and offering relationship therapy for other forms of relationship – such as same-sex couples, plus open or polyamorous relationships.

Testimonials from previous participants, which represent genuine feedback after attending the course:

Diversity and Respect Statement

The Grove is committed to the provision of training which is inclusive for participants from a diverse range of professional and cultural backgrounds. The Grove’s diversity policy upholds participation by trainees which respects differences in ability and disability, age, sex, gender diversity, race, religion, culture, and theoretical modality. The Grove’s course terms and conditions provide for each participant being seen, heard and respected during their attendance at course events. These terms are shown in the course contract which every applicant is expected to embrace when enrolling; and are described in the course handbook at the start of the training. Any participant may be suspended from the course if their behaviour is deemed by The Grove to be contrary to this statement.

Based in London W1, we offer a unique blend of mental health support: psychotherapy, psychiatry, professional training courses in mental health, integrated wellbeing & equine-facilitated programmes.

Contact Us

Phone: 020 7637 7763

The Grove Practice,
4 Wimpole Street,

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